It’s tax season, and that means one thing (hopefully): big ol’ tax refunds. You’ve spent an entire year busting your ass and giving away bits of your hard-earned dough to the government, but now it’s time to get some of that back.
You could pay off some bills or you could do something else smart like put it away for a rainy day, but let’s face it, we all know what we want to do with it: blow it on something awesome.
We chatted with J.R. Starkus, the director of mixology trade development at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (the largest distributor of wine and spirits in the country) to compile a list of expensive spirits to suit just about any palate and most price ranges, after refund. Starkus works with the swankiest clubs in Las Vegas and some big-spending clients, but this list is not exhaustive — we can go on and on about Scotches that cost into the thousands — but we wanted to give you a list to at least get your tax day shopping started right.
Jefferson’s Ocean Voyage 15, Special Wheated Mash Bill – $80
If the refund isn’t enough to send you around the world, why not buy a bourbon that’s more well-traveled than most people? Jefferson’s Bourbon is already known for putting fully-matured bourbon on a ship and set sail (more on the Aged At Sea releases here). For this special release, Jefferson’s used a fully matured bourbon that contained wheat instead of rye as its small grain, allowing more of the corn and vanilla characteristics to come through.
Camus Borderies XO Cognac – $160
An unexpected $200 check can do a lot of good, especially if you’ve always wanted to buy a nice cognac (if you know nothing about cognac, check out our guide) and feel like a king sipping next to a fire. Camus Borderies XO Cognac is distilled wine made with some of the best grapes in the Domaines Camus estate, resulting in a creamy, pastry-like sipper. It tastes of cinnamon, dried fruit, old port, and almond.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare – $400
With a refund of less than $500, an ambitious drinker can buy up a Scotch blended with whiskies made by “ghost” distilleries no longer in operation. with a dash of some “rare” malt and grain whiskies. The first Ghost and Rare highlighted Scotch from Brora, which operated from 1819 to 1983; Diageo plans to reopen the distillery in 2020.
Kavalan Taiwanese Whisky Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask – $630
Taiwanese whisky has made some waves the past few years, so with a big check, why not shell out to try some of the most unique whiskey from the Asian island nation? A “dessert” whisky, the Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask is loaded with fruit, nut, and chocolate.
Clase Azul Ultra Tequila – $1,899
If you’re lucky enough to get back nearly $2,000 or more and you’re still thinking about splurging on a big spirit, head to the tequila section. The juice inside the bottle is certainly world-class, but some of the price has to be for the packaging, which includes a pure platinum decoration, .925 sterling silver agave medallion, and a 24-carat gold label. Inside, you’ll find extra añejo tequila that was aged for five years in sherry casks.
Article originally published by Sam Slaughter on April 18, 2017. Last updated by Pat Evans on April 8, 2018.